Since my last post, I have been working on learning the two counting systems of the Korean language (Sino-Korean and Pure Korean) from 1-50. Recently, I learned that the Sino-Korean counting system was created based on the Chinese counting system. Because these counting systems are quite similar, Sino-Korean counting was easier to learn in comparison to Pure Korean. In mandarin, to count, you would say two ten seven for 27. This is the same concept used in Sino-Korean. Unlike Sino-Korean counting, Pure Korean has no pattern for memorization purposes. Each tens column has a different name. Refer to diagram 1.1 and diagram 1.2 to view both counting systems. Due to the difficulty to memorize Pure Korean numbers higher than 100, Pure Korean isn’t commonly used for high value numbers. According to Gyumin, he hasn’t used numbers higher than 40 in Pure Korean. In my meeting with Ms. Kim, I learned that when telling time, the hour is told using Pure Korean and the minutes are told using Sino-Korean. For example, if the time was 10:30, you would say yeol-si (si = hour) cam-ship-pun (pun = minutes) yi-ye-yo. Ms. Kim asked me many practice questions in Korean, and had me respond back in Korean. Such as, jieum-myeoch-si-ye-yo (what time is it?)? This helped me a lot with familiarizing myself to the new information. While responding, Ms. Kim told me that “only one to four, you would simplify (the number). Instead of saying hana-si-ye-yo, you would say han-si-ye-yo.” After practicing telling time for a bit, we moved onto counting random objects within the room we were meeting in. At this stage, Ms. Kim informed me that “there are different units I will use (to count).” I learned that for different types of objects there is a different unit to count in. For example, Ms. Kim told me that the unit for counting “books [is] kuan.” She also said that “the different meaning for kae (a general counting unit) is dog, but because in this case you are asking [in the form of a question] for counting units, people will understand.” Ms. Kim was very patient when I was trying to remember which numbers to say in response. As I still don’t have a proficient grasp of the number systems in Korean, it takes me a while to associate the Korean number to the English number. Refer to diagram 1.3 and diagram 1.4 for notes from our meeting.
How to Have a Beautiful Mind
How to Listen
Mr. De Bono states that “a good listener shows that he or she is paying attention to what is being said (67).” I try to show this by nodding every once in a while to show that I understand what is being said and so that Ms. Kim knows that I’m paying attention to our conversation. In our discussion, there were times when I forgot how to pronounce certain words. In response, I asked clarification questions and attempted to repeat the pronunciation of terms after Ms. Kim said them aloud while teaching me. I also tried to repeat back some of the information I heard such as that “so kae is used for counting general objects.” I respect Ms. Kim a lot, and she’s a very nice mentor who really tries her best to support my learning. Because of this, I try my best to show that I’m paying attention during our discussions so she doesn’t feel she’s wasting her time on me.
At this point in time, I am learning technical foundations of the Korean language. There isn’t room for subjective opinions and questioning as most things are objective, so I can’t apply most of the material from this section of the book. However, I did ask questions for more detail and elaboration. Since our meeting was relatively fast paced, I needed to ask a few questions of elaboration as I simply didn’t understand some bits of the lesson. I could’ve asked a lot more questions on explanation, after my meeting with Ms. Kim I realized that I had not asked for the explanation behind why numbers from one to four are shortened in Pure Korean when telling time.
Overall, I felt that there was a lot of new material I picked up this week. I accomplished the goal I set which was to learn both Korean counting systems from 1-50, and I had a lot of fun.
See you next time – Brian Cheng